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Planning Commission Meeting Minutes

July 24, 2002
CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Crane at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Chairman Crane; Commissioners Griffin, Price, Savage, Stopper, Wilson, and LeQuire

STAFF PRESENT: Chief Planner Rosen, Senior Planner Mullis, Senior Engineer Wallin, and Recording Secretary Garfinkel

MINUTES:

MOTION by Commissioner LeQuire, seconded and CARRIED by a 6-0 vote, that the Minutes of the July 10, 2002, meeting be APPROVED AS WRITTEN with abstention by Commissioner Price.

4:00 P.M. SESSION

PUBLIC HEARINGS

ITEM NO. 1
PRJ02-00041 PM-2002-158; APPLICANT: KEVIN RICHER; PROPERTY OWNER: RUTH ANDREW.

A memorandum dated July 24, 2002, was presented to consider allowing the subdivision of a 0.90 acre parcel into two lots and a Zoning Adjustment to decrease the minimum lot size on two lots of a subdivision from 20,000 square feet to 19,505 and 19,517 square feet respectively, which represents a 2% reduction in the minimum lot size on a generally triangular piece of property located at 1815 Ladera Vista Place (southwest corner of Ladera Vista Drive and Ladera Vista Place {a private street}) (R-1-20,000 zone) (Categorically exempt under Section 32 of CEQA Guidelines)

The applicant withdrew this item.

7:00 P.M. SESSION

ITEM NO. 2
SITE PLAN SP-866 (REVISED) AND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT CUP-1065 (REVISED); APPLICANT AND PROPERTY OWNER: HOLLY CONSTANTIN.

Staff report dated July 24, 2002, was presented to consider allowing the installation of temporary modular classroom facilities, allowing the expansion of an existing private school (Ivycrest Montessori) and to consider preliminary site and architectural plans for property located at 2007, 2011, 2107, and 2113 East Chapman Avenue and 514 North Mountain View Place. The Planning Commission will consider:

  1. Allowing installation of a temporary modular classroom building for use while permanent classrooms are under construction expanding the maximum allowed student enrollment to 264 children; and
  2. Commenting on a revised site plan and elevations for a multi-purpose building, four classrooms, recreational facilities, and an off-site parking area to meet the parking demand of the proposed expansion.

This property is located on the north side of Chapman Avenue between 62 feet and 560 feet east of Mountain View Place and the east side of Mountain View Place between approximately 128 feet and 184 feet north of Chapman Avenue on property zoned O-P and R-1-7,200. (Categorically exempt under Class 32 of CEQA Guidelines). (Continued from June 26, 2002).

Senior Planner Mullis gave a brief staff report on Conditional Use Permit CUP-1065 (Revised) requesting approval to demolish two houses and construct two modular buildings for classroom space on property located at 2007, and 2011 East Chapman Avenue. A second item discussing the revised site plans would be discussed after this item had been voted on.

It was noted that two temporary buildings adjacent to the existing facility would accommodate an additional 60 students. Staff proposed that some conditions be imposed and recommended approval. To date, no comments had been received regarding the modular buildings. The applicant provided a neighborhood meeting, and no comments were received on the modular buildings at the meeting.

Commissioner Savage asked if the house that would remain at 514 North Mountain View Place would be used for classrooms or activities for children. Senior Planner Mullis indicated that children would not have access. The plan was to use the existing residence for a teachers lounge only.

Commissioner LeQuire inquired if trucks would be used during demolition and the construction of the modular classrooms, and how access would be gained. He expressed concern with the type of traffic it could produce and the safety of children. Staff replied that there would be truck traffic during demolition and placement of modular buildings. Staff responded that there would be a temporary fence separating the construction area from the existing facility. In relation to the truck access, Engineering would determine how this would be accomplished.

Commissioner Price asked if there would be a time limit on the length of time the temporary modular buildings could be used. Staff responded that the conditions in the staff report designate removal of the modular buildings within two years of the date of the approval of the Conditional Use Permit, or within 60 days of completion of a new permanent classroom building which may be constructed for the school, whichever is earlier.

Commissioner Stopper asked what the process would be if two years was not enough time to complete construction. Staff noted that the applicant would need to return to the Planning Commission for a revision to the Conditional Use Permit.

Chairman Crane asked what the space on the north side of the temporary classrooms would be used for, and if it was fenced. Senior Planner Mullis deferred to the applicant.

Public hearing opened.

Applicant Holly Constantin approached the podium and verified the desire to extend and add services to the school.

Chairman Crane questioned the fence lines and Mrs. Constantin noted that there was a fence that extended along the east and west property line. She noted that a chain link fence could be installed during construction.

Chairman Crane asked the applicant if it was their intent was to use the space behind the modular classrooms temporarily for children's activities. The applicant noted that, if possible, they would like to use the area as a play area for children. Chairman Crane further asked if it was the applicant's intent to build a circular driveway in the area with the modular buildings. The applicant answered that this could be a future consideration.

Chief Planner Rosen noted to the Commission that the application submitted did not include or request a play area, and if it had, a condition would have been included noting that a block wall would need to be installed. The applicant noted that a block wall would be installed immediately.

The applicant noted that approval was received for the demolition of the two homes on Chapman Avenue, which would be done prior to the start of the school year. The applicant had been told that the estimated time of demolition was two weeks, and the estimated time to construct the modular buildings would be two weeks.

Commissioner Savage asked the applicant if they would plant grass or place temporary turf. The applicant indicated they would not be planting grass or turf.

The following individuals spoke in opposition of the proposed site plan:

Clyde King, 530 North Mountain View Place.
Wayne Clair, 520 North Mountain View Place
Peter Ofer, 600 North Mountain View Place
Laurie Ricky, 5349 North Hale Avenue
Dave Morgan, 545 North Mountain View Place
Steve Harris - 605 North Mountain View Place

Some of the items mentioned were:

  • Multi-purpose room seats 240 - outside number of seating had not been calculated
  • Concerned about the setback of the multi-purpose room and several windows on the north side
  • Tower height and aesthetics
  • Use of the multi-purpose room as an amphitheatre needed to be addressed as well as number of events

Senior Planner Rosen noted that there was not a notice conflict or violation of the Municipal Code in regard to advertisement. He also clarified that the business use of 514 North Mountain View Place was not part of the current application. He also noted that only 60 students would be allowed.

Nathan Kivetney, 2001 East Chapman Avenue

Dr. Kivetney expressed a desire for the alley behind his property to be abandoned by the City and returned to him if indeed that easement was originally taken from his parcel. He was concerned about trash service using the alley and the inconvenience it could cause his patients who park there. He also noted that he was interested in having an 8-foot block wall along the north and east property lines in order to keep any toys from coming into his parking area.

Chairman Crane asked staff to research the original ownership of the alley easement. He also asked Dr. Kivetney where he placed his garbage. Dr. Kivetney noted that his garbage was picked up from the front curb of his business.

Commissioner Price asked Dr. Kivetney if he had any objection to the placement of the modular buildings on the school property. Dr. Kivetney answered negatively.

Commissioner Savage asked if the current fence on the property line was chain link. Dr. Kivetney answered affirmatively and noted he would like a block wall for privacy.

John Silber, (125 West Amerige Avenue - architect), stated that the applicants were not interested in a temporary issue that was not viable for the long term. He also indicated that the City upholds high standards for building issues and rules.

Commissioner Wilson asked the applicant if they were planning any landscape details visible from Chapman Avenue. The applicant responded she would not landscape for a temporary project. If there would be a delay in the project, then there would be temporary measures considered. There could also be a visual screen for the duration of the construction.

Commissioner Savage confirmed that the timing of the demolition and construction of the temporary structures would be approximately four weeks. The applicant noted that the demolition of the properties would be an improvement, however, she felt that they would need access from the alley to remove the debris. She indicated that they would work with Dr. Kivetney on the timing of the use of the alley.

Commissioner Wilson asked if the demolition ingress and egress could be accommodated on the southern portion. Staff believed that the alley was only 15 feet; therefore, the City would work with the applicant to keep truck traffic out of the neighborhood. Truck access from Chapman Avenue was discussed.

Public hearing closed.

Commissioner Wilson asked if the Conditional Use Permit would address the use of the back lawn.

Commissioner Griffin asked if a block wall on the north property line was necessary. Chief Planner Rosen noted that if the applicant did not use the space to the north for a play area, then the wall would probably not be necessary.

Commissioner LeQuire believed that the two properties to be demolished and the modular classrooms are zoned O-P, and would be consistent with zoning uses for that area.

Chairman Crane asked if the Conditional Use Permit was advertised for the use of the space to the north for a play area. Chief Planner Rosen responded that it was not.

Commissioner Griffin asked if the Commission had to approve the use of the play area. Chief Planner Rosen indicated that if the use remained the same, there would be no need for any further approval. He also confirmed that the residence at 514 North Mountain View Place was no longer being used.

Chairman Crane believed that temporary landscape would be an issue after the houses were demolished, relative to time. He also felt that a block wall to the west along Dr. Kivetney's property line was something that might be considered, and noted that Dr. Kivetney should apply for alley abandonment. Trash could be addressed with the next item.

Commissioner Griffin believed there would be no problem with a condition for landscaping. He did not agree with a block wall installation at this time, since there had been no approval for a permanent building. He did not feel this would be fair to the applicant. Chief Planner Rosen stated that with consensus of the Commission, if construction of a master site plan was not underway after 60 days, a temporary landscape plan to be approved by the Director of Development Services, should be required 90 days after the installation of the temporary classrooms.

The title of Resolution No. 6983 APPROVING a request to allow the installation of temporary modular classroom facilities, allowing the expansion of an existing private school (Ivycrest Montessori) for property located at 2007 and 2011 East Chapman Avenue was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner Stopper, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be APPROVED AS AMENDED with the additional condition that if deemed necessary by the Director of Development Services based on phasing or delay of the project the applicant shall submit a temporary landscape plan for the Chapman Avenue frontage for review and approval within 60 days of occupancy of the modular classroom, with implementation 30 days thereafter.

In relation to the future expansion of the school, Senior Planner Mullis noted a new concept to be shared by the applicant's architect, Mr. Silber, had been proposed based on the neighbors input. Concerns related to noise caused the structure placements to be relocated with the play area and sports court sandwiched in between the new classrooms and the multi-purpose room. The tower would not be manned nor have a bell. It was only meant for architectural means.

John Silber, confirmed that a renewed effort to address the concerns of the neighborhood in regard to privacy, noise, and intrusion into the R-1 neighborhood had been made. These changes came at a sacrifice to the choices that the Constantins originally made. Offers were made to meet with individuals in the neighborhood, and to walk people through the revised concept.

A scaled model of the new site plan was shown to the Commissioners and the audience.

Meeting was recessed at 8:39 p.m.

The meeting reconvened at 8:50 p.m.

Chairman Crane noted that the points mentioned concerning this project were the maintenance of the residential character, noise, views from the play areas into private property and traffic. He asked for any other comments other than those mentioned above and noted the discussion would be limited to 9:30 p.m. He emphasized that the Commission was looking for feedback on the new proposal.

Commissioner LeQuire asked Mr. Silber for the dimensions of the distance between the residence at 514 North Mountain View Place and the front part of the new proposed building; and how close to North Mountain View Place the new building would be. Mr. Silber noted the approximate distance was 100 feet, however, staff would confirm that dimension.

Commissioner Price asked about the perimeter fencing of Dr. Kivetney's property and the development of a block wall. Mr. Silber answered affirmatively, there would be a six-foot block wall and placement would depend on the status of the alley and access.

Commissioner Savage asked about the proposed bell tower. Mr. Silber indicated it would have no lights, bells, or buzzers. There would be a decorative bell that would not ring, with clock faces on four cardinal sides. He noted that the Constantins had expressed a desire for beginning and ending school-day chimes that could be accommodated within the breezeways, so that there would be no sound emanating from the tower.

Commissioner Wilson asked if trash collection on the North Mountain View Place side would be done with smaller bins. Mr. Silber answered affirmatively and it was noted that MG Disposal was the contract hauler.

Commissioner Stopper asked for the estimated time of completion. Mr. Silber noted the completion could happen in about 9 to 12 months. The only complication would be the coordination with the school year and phasing for site security for the children.

Commissioner Wilson commended the architect and owners for their accomplishment in maintaining the architectural style.

Wayne Claire again spoke and felt this plan made more sense, but was not approving it. He acknowledged that an effort had been made and the plan looked a lot better. He felt there might be an issue with some windows in the back of the multi-purpose room and the tower height could drop 10 feet.

The following individuals spoke in favor of the site plans:

Mark Riechman, 741 Ocean View, attorney - concerned parent with son at school.
Ninder Trima Jourdan - Fontana resident, student at school
Heidi Davis - resident and parent of student at school
Sierra Foster, 402 South Highland, Fullerton - daughter at school for 3rd year

The following were points covered:

  • Fullerton is an educational community
  • Competing interest was the R-1 issue
  • Theme based on neighbor comments was "compromise"
  • City as a whole would benefit
    • House on 514 Mountain View would remain (curb appeal) R-1 preserved
    • Buildings had been moved to be a noise buffer
    • Playground facilities had been moved
  • Estimated costs would be 10% more
  • Constantins would lose 3,000 square feet of space
  • Summary was that accommodations and compromises had been made to the neighborhood
  • Constantin's offers to purchase homes were misconceived as a ploy to add properties to the school, when indeed this was for personal residences
  • Not a business, but a school
  • Constantin's have changed plans to compromise with the neighborhood concerns
  • School offers services public schools could not, such as dance, piano and karate during school hours - a tremendous convenience for parents
  • Noted that a block wall on the north of the property could be an expense that would not benefit the Constantin's if the overall plan is not approved

Public hearing closed.

Based on public comment that the public was not made aware of the planning process of this project, Commissioner Griffin noted that the public was being made aware through neighborhood meetings and public hearings. He believed the two major concerns were the bell tower height, the alley, and the potential perception that that alley belonged to someone. He expressed concern that if the alley were abandoned, there would have to be a new ingress. He believed the trash enclosure should remain in the alley.

Commissioner Stopper felt that since the last meeting the applicant and the community had come to an understanding. He noted that the strengths of the City were education, hospitals, etc. Opportunities for increases in facilities should be looked at favorably. He believed the only issue was the one piece of property that was zoned R-1.

Commissioner Savage felt the challenge was to see this project from all angles.

Commissioner Wilson expressed appreciation for the community outpouring. Compromise had come a long way with great improvements. He also felt the greatest issue was with the R-1 use and believed the issue was resolved with the 514 North Mountain View house remaining in tact as a residence. He also felt that the multi-purpose building backing up to Mr. Clair's property would alleviate noise.

Commissioner LeQuire thanked everyone for attending and applauded both sides. The current proposal worked toward compromise and showed that the building adjacent to the residential area was not higher than a two-story structure. He would like staff to explore the issue of the remaining residence on North Mountain View Place, so that a condition could be applied that would keep it from being changed from it's existing residential zoning.

Chairman Crane told the applicants that while they had made great strides to solve the neighborhood issues, there was a need for some refinement. The block wall issues to the north could be conditioned at a later date. Further discussion with Dr. Kivetney regarding walls, types and heights, should be addressed, as well as the alley issue. He suggested there should be one more public workshop with the applicant, neighbors and staff in attendance.

Chief Planner Rosen noted that the site plan was tentatively scheduled for the August 28th, Planning Commission meeting, pending further refinements. The hearing would be at 7:00 p.m. with public notification. He indicated a spokesperson for each group would be beneficial.

OTHER MATTERS

  1. RESOLUTION OF INTENTION

    1. PRJ02-00128 (ZONING AMENDMENT AND GENERAL PLAN REVISION) APPLICANT: CITY OF FULLERTON. A request to change the existing General Plan Land Use designation from "Greenbelt Concept Residential" to "Government Facilities" and change the zone designation from O-G, Oil-Gas to P-L, Public-Land for a proposed reservoir on property located at the terminus of a proposed access road which begins on the north side of a proposed cul-de-sac of Muir Trail Drive east of Eagle Point Drive (previously certified Environmental Impact Report).

    The title of Resolution No. 6984 to consider changing the existing General Plan Land Use designation from "Greenbelt Concept Residential" to "Government Facilities" and change the zone designation from O-G, Oil-Gas to P-L, Public-Land for a proposed reservoir on property located at the terminus of a proposed access road which begins on the north side of a proposed cul-de-sac of Muir Trail Drive east of Eagle Point Drive, was read and further reading was waived. MOTION by Commissioner LeQuire, seconded and CARRIED unanimously that said Resolution be ADOPTED AS WRITTEN.

  2. REVIEW OF COUNCIL ACTIONS

    Chief Planner Rosen gave a brief report.

  3. PUBLIC COMMENTS

    There was no one present who wished to speak on any matter within the Commission's jurisdiction.

  4. AGENDA FORECAST:

    The next meeting of the Fullerton Planning Commission will be August 28, 2002, at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

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